"The Class Of 62" was the 4th episode in the seventh series of Only Fools And Horses, broadcast on the 20th January 1991. This episode saw the last ever appearance of bent ex copper Roy Slater. Why has Roy returned to the area where he is hated and loathed? When Del Boy and his friends believe Slater has changed for the better, Del discovers the real reason for his return.
Albert Trotter is asleep in the sofa. He is awoken by the sound of Derek "Del Boy" Trotter, Rodney Trotter and Raquel Turner coming in and quickly gets up and starts sweeping. Del Boy says he has many letters to catch up with but Rodney says there is 1 letter, and that is for Raquel. Del says Rodney gets out of bed when he hears the theme tune to Home And Away, yet Del himself says he is a captain of industry. Del is also now into selling fax machines. Rodney teases him over it but then sees Del has had a fax. Del says it could have come from anywhere in the world, Rome, New York, Tokyo, but it is actually from Mike Fisher at the Nags Head. Del Boy is pleased to read that he has been invited to a school reunion that evening, of the Class 4C who left the Dockside Secondary Modern in 1962. Del, who is very happy with life and becoming a father to be says how Raquel and the baby are the best thing that happened since his mum died. Del promises Raquel he wont get drunk at the reunion tonight. He jokes "on your bike" to her.
That evening at the function room above the pub at the Nags Head Del, Boycie, and Denzel are stood waiting for the reunion to start, having been there for the past hour. Rodney, who has attended as a guest tries to scare them into wondering who the mystery host is who will come along and surprise them all. There is a knock at the door. It is Trigger who says he has stood in the dance hall for the last hour in the dark as he thought they were all going to jump out and surprise someone. It is soon apparent that Trigger did not organise the do as he could not organise a prayer in a mosque. Trigger reckons Jeremy Beadle has organised the do. Del worries it is their old headmaster Bend Over Benson, who was committed to an asylum several years before.
The host puts their hand through the ajar door and turns the lights off. His shadow stands in the doorway as he opens it. All the boys start arguing, worrying that their old headmaster has escaped. Del says that if it is him he has grown another ear from somewhere. The host then switches the light back on. It is Roy Slater. Del and co all look on in horror. Del asks why is he back in the parish where he is universally loathed and despised. Slater says while in prison for the diamond smuggling caper that he found Jesus and prison changed him for the better, also the death of his father Harry Slater changed him. They all agree to forgive Slater, to give him another chance to see if he has changed, and head back to Nelson Mandela House where they reminisce about schooldays.
After Denzil, Trigger, and Boycie all go home, Raquel enters the flat and is horrified to see the flat in a state, beer cans everywhere, but even more shocked when she sees Slater asleep on the sofa. And she goes into the kitchen and confronts Del saying he is like the others, his promises mean nothing, like the one about if ever her husband turned up he would have to go through Del first. Del says that stands. Raquel says well if that still stands why is her husband laying asleep on the sofa.
Del says that is not her ex husband, that is Slater on the sofa and Raquel says she knows his name as she was wed to him for 4 years. Del is shocked and in disbelief until Raquel says Slater was her married name and she wish she never burned her wedding photos. Del asks why she never said her married name before and she says to Del how he said "Lets change the subject" every time she mentioned her marriage. She says she said her husband was a policeman. Del believes Raquel and says he will try and get Slater out of the flat.
Del alerts Rodney and they try to get rid of Slater in a nice way. Slater says he is pleased that he has been forgiven. He then "notices" a photo of Raquel on the sideboard and wants to know why a picture of his wife is doing in Del's flat. Raquel emerges from the kitchen and it all becomes apparent. Slater starts mouthing off and Del realises that he probably has not changed after all. Slater says he has an inheritance coming through, several grand and for him and Raquel to start again, even though she is heavily pregnant. Slater and Del almost fight but Rodney, Raquel and Albert restrain them. Del takes Raquel to bed. The Trotters reluctantly let Slater stay for the night.
In the dark early hours of the following morning, at about 3am, a few hours after the argument, Del turns the light on and wakes Rodney up, Rodney is annoyed that Del has given Slater his bed and he is on the sofa again. Del says he had to let Slater stay the night due to Slater being an ex copper and they discuss what would happen if anyone found out that Raquel. Del's girlfriend, and expecting his baby, was once married to the hated Slater, which would result in Del's image being tarnished and many of his associates refusing to do business with him, knowing he was seeing the ex wife of an ex copper, and not just any ex copper but Slater, the most hated person in the parish. Albert emerges from his bedroom saying he could not sleep wither. Del says Slater has a hold over him. Albert suggests to Del not to let Slater walk over him as he may start wondering why.
Del discovers Slater's wallet lying around and cannot help having a look inside in which he finds a post-nuptial agreement intended for Raquel to sign, in which she would waive her rights to his coming inheritance. Del realises this is the real reason why Slater has returned to Peckham, as Raquel wants a divorce, he has come back to finalise it and also to blackmail her into waiving her rights to his money or he will tell everyone that he, being a hated ex copper, was married to her thus Del's trading colleagues never trusting him again.
Del also discovers another document from a Bond Street diamond merchant, informing Slater about ten diamonds deposited before he was sent to prison in 1985. Del realises this is the inheritance that Slater was mentioning, and those 10 diamonds were what he pugged away when the diamond smuggling racket went up the pictures, when he was awaiting trial. Just as Del thinks he has the upper hand, Slater emerges from the bedrooms and takes back his wallet, which he's been looking for, and with it the evidence. He asks for a breakfast in bed in the morning.
Two days later, at the Nag's Head, Slater chats with Mike Fisher. They talk about Del and Raquel and how her luck changed for the better when she met Del. Mike says he heard about her estranged husband and says "Right git I heard". Mike is totally unaware that very git is stood across the bar from him.
Del and Rodney then enter as Raquel waits outside in the Trotter Van. Slater almost lets slip about being married to Raquel, saying she always was difficult to wake up. Del offers for Slater to sit with him and Rodney. Del says to Slater that he knows that Slater knew all along about him and Raquel. Slater says he went to the town hall and looked up her name on the poll tax register, (where he found it was the same address Del Trotter lived at) and had to get into Del's flat to make sure it was the same woman. He adds that is how he came up with the school reunion idea. Slater orders del to fetch the champagne. Rodney tells Slater he has a habit of leaving things lying around.
Del and Rodney then show Slater one of their Futafax machines, which Del says he used to make a copy of Slater's diamond documents. Slater retorts that he has already served his sentence and under double jeopardy cannot be tried for the same crime twice. Del continues that he and Rodney thought of that so went to the local newspaper offices and read all the reports of Slater's trial, that he was done for smuggling 28 diamonds into the country, but the reports didn't mention the ten missing diamonds deposited with the dealer in Bond Street. This means the police know nothing about them.
If the incriminating documents about the Bond Street stash were to be sent to the police, it would mean a new trial, and given Slater's record most likely a return to prison. Del and Rodney reckon Slater could get 10 years this time. Del jokes that Slater likes reunions and all the inmates will be pleased to see him back. Del says that all the inmates he once knew in prison will hold a party for him on the roof.
The Trotter Brothers want to make a deal with Slater. Slater thinks they want a share of the money from the 10 diamonds in return for their silence. Slater offers 10%. Del and Rodney refuse. Slater offers 20%. Del and Rodney refuse. Slater starts to lose patience and says "Come on. 70/30". Del and Rodney say they dont want the money. Del says to Slater that he can keep his money, but he is to give Raquel her divorce and leave her alone forever, and leave Peckham for ever and never come back, and never mention to anyone that he was married to Raquel because if one person finds out, Del will send the incriminating letters to the police, with a first class stamp on them.
Slater realises he has been beaten and agrees to the deal and gets up off his seat, saying he has a train to catch. Slater tries to have one more insulting throw of the dice by asking Del "When your baby is born, if it is a boy, can you name him after me?". Del gets up to fight Slater but Rodney stops him. Rodney says it is unfair to christen a kid "Dick".
Slater tells Del Boy to have a nice life before he walks out of the pub for ever. Del and Rodney cheer when Slater has gone and he explains to Rodney that when Slater sells his diamonds, Raquel can divorce him and legally be entitled to 50% of everything. Mike shows up and tells the Trotter Brothers that the photocopier on the Futafax they sold him doesn't work. A laughing Del answers that his doesn't either, meaning that he and Rodney were bluffing to Slater all along.
- Derek "Del Boy" Trotter - David Jason
- Rodney Trotter - Nicholas Lyndhurst
- Albert Trotter - Buster Merryfield
- Raquel Turner - Tessa Peake Jones
- Boycie - John Challis
- Denzel - Paul Barber
- Trigger - Roger Lloyd Pack
- Mike Fisher - Kenneth MacDonald
Previous Episode Stage Fright (13th January 1991)Edit
- The idea for the script was based on a reunion that John Sullivan had with his football team.
- The scene of Del and friends drunkenly singing along to the track "Mighty Quinn" by Manfred Mann has been cut from the complete Series 7 VHS from 2000, but can be seen and heard on the earlier 1994 "Danger UXD" video, so it is obvious that the BBC had the rights earlier but the record company has since withdrawn them.
- Australian soap opera "Home And Away" was very popular on the BBC's rival channel ITV in 1991 so Del Boy dropped a gag teasing Rodney that he gets up when the H&A theme tune comes on.
- This episode is where we finally find out that Roy Slater was Raquel's much mentioned but unidentified husband. He was mentioned in Dates (25th December 1988), The Jolly Boys Outing (25th December 1989), The Chance of a Lunchtime (6th January 1991) and Stage Fright (13th January 1991). While the odds are high, that Del joins a Peckham dating agency, gets a woman who is compatible, meets her and then later has a relationship with her, and her estranged husband was Del's old school nemesis and the most infamous man in the parish, such things can happen. Raquel must have lived in Peckham as her and Del both joined the Peckham dating agency before they met, and she could have known Slater in the 1970s.
- This episode features the last chronological appearance of Roy Slater. Once Del and Rodney drove Slater away from the area for good, telling him never to return, Slater must have gone back to Colchester then divorced Raquel. Slater was mentioned in Miami Twice Part 1 (24th December 1991) but not by name, Del said "she is still married". Slater did appear in the photo of Del and his mates in 1960 which was seen in Sleepless In Peckham (25th December 2003). And of course, a young Slater was featured in Rock And Chips (Prequel to Only Fools And Horses) set in 1960.
- The Only Fools And Horses prequel Rock and Chips, the first episode of the three-part prequel set in 1960-1962, contradicts the school leaving year of Del and friends. In this episode, it is clearly The Class Of '62. Yet in Rock And Chips, set in February 1960, the P.E. teacher kicks them out a year earlier and says they are no longer needed, and they all left in 1960. Del and the boys returned in 1962 to finish an exam. This was confirmed in He Who Dares (BBC Books, published in 2015) when Del returned to school to do an exam. So no continuity error.
- When Slater returns to Peckham after almost 5 years away, Rodney recalls the time that Slater nicked him for doing over 70mph in Del's 3 wheel van in a built up area. This was presumably in the late 1970s. Yet in "May The Force Be With You" from 1983, Rodney does not know who Slater is let alone that he is a policeman. Although the exact time Slater caught Rodney was never stated and Slater was still in the Peckham district in "To Hull And Back" in 1985. So the incident may have taken place in 1984, as there was no new episodes transmitted on the BBC that year. The 1984 straight to video episode "Licensed To Drill" could have been set at any time during 1984.